1. Texaco has been negotiating with a mystery buyer on a farm-in on its deepwater acreage in the western Gulf of Mexico. Its McClellan gas prospect in East Breaks blocks 798 and 799 has been on the market for several months. Reportedly, Texaco wants to partner to pay all or a large percentage of the costs to earn a half interest. Mariner Energy's nearby Falcon success in East Breaks Block 579 some 13 miles (21 km) north has renewed focus in the area.
2. WesternGeco put its Western Pride acquisition ship to work on its first Q-Marine survey in the Gulf of Mexico. The multiclient survey covers ExxonMobil's Hoover, Diana South, Rockefeller, Madison and Marshall fields. The Q-Marine system uses eight 5-mile (8-km) steerable streamers with single-sensor technology to combine high image quality with repeatability. A 2-D beta test over ExxonMobil's Diana field established a high confidence level for the results of the new survey. The only other WesternGeco ship with the technology is the Geco Topaz in the North Sea.
3. Denbury Resources plans to add at least 16 Bcfe in net reserves from its three successful wells in West Cameron Block 639. The company plans to drill two more wells in the block.
4. ATP Oil & Gas Corp. chalked up first production from two deepwater wells in its Ladybug prospect in Garden Banks Block 409. Gross production from the field is 8,000 b/d and 6 MMcf/d. In 1,360 ft (415 m) of water, this is the company's first deepwater subsea development, although it has used subsea development in shallower prospects.
5. Kerr-McGee started a late-year drilling spree with a wildcat with the Transocean Richardson on its Dawson prospect in Garden Banks Block 669. The semisubmersible had just completed work on Kerr-McGee's Gunnison field in adjacent Block 668. If successful, Dawson, in 3,300 ft (1,006 m) of water, will be a satellite tieback development to Gunnison. It is similar to nearby Durango field. Kerr-McGee also is drilling its Constitution prospect in Green Canyon Block 680 in 5,000 ft (1,524 m) of water, a second sidetrack well on its Garden Banks Block 244 discovery and an updip sidetrack on its Red Hawk prospect in Garden Banks 877. It plans two more wells in Red Hawk in water depths of 5,200 ft (1,585 m) before the end of the year.
6. Nexen bought four leases in Vermilion Block 76 for US $39.7 million. The leases, in about 35 ft (11 m) of water, produce 17 MMcf/d of gas and 90 b/d of oil and contain estimated reserves of 37.2 Bcf of gas equivalent. The seller was not named.
7. Shell Exploration & Production Co. will add Manatee to its growing list of subsea developments. Manatee is a two-well development in 1,940 ft (592 m) of water in Green Canyon Block 155 with a 5-mile (8-km) tieback to the company's Angus subsea manifold in Green Canyon 113. That manifold ties back another 17 miles (27 km) to the Shell Bullwinkle platform in Green Canyon Block 65. This will be the fourth subsea tieback to Bullwinkle following Rocky, Troika and Angus. Manatee contains an estimated 12 million boe in reserves, and peak production should reach 25,000 b/d of oil. First oil should flow in the third quarter next year. Shell is operator with a 52% interest. Devon holds the remaining ownership.
8. Amerada Hess will spud a deepwater wildcat to test is Ness prospect in Green Canyon Block 507 in 3,600 ft (1,097 m) of water with a target depth of 12,500 ft (3,810 m). This is particularly fast work since Amerada Hess picked up the prospect at the latest Central Gulf Lease Sale. Texaco's Fuji development, owned by Nexen, is in adjacent Green Canyon Block 506.
9. Nexen's Scout prospect in Green Canyon Block 389 was plugged and abandoned after the company determined the wildcat contained noncommercial quantities of hydrocarbons. Nexen drilled the well to a 26,000-ft (7,925-m) TVD in 3,550-ft (1,082-m) waters. Nexen will take an US $18 million charge as its 25% investment share in the prospect. It is reviewing the results of the well to determine if the block has further exploration potential.
10. Transocean Sedco Forex has contracted its ultradeepwater semisubmersible drilling rig Deepwater Horizon to BP for work in the Gulf of Mexico for the next 36 months at an estimated contract value of US $219 million. The rig's first job is on Mississippi Canyon Block 587.